Relationships

Marriage Works (February 2017): Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel when my marriage is falling apart?

 Relationship Couple Ty & Ron Maddox

She never thought she’d be here. Marrying her high school sweetheart was always her dream. Never did she think she’d find herself not wanting to be with him. As she listened to Mary J. Blige’s song and began to sing with her “Eleven Years, out of my life, besides the kids I have nothing to show, wasted my years a fool of a wife, I shoulda left you’re a** a long time ago”. Singing the lyrics made her feel redeemed. She could relate to Mary J. because that’s exactly how she felt. Years of her life wasted and now the only thing she was thankful for was her two boys, ages 5 and a newborn. Though they had only been married for a year, they were boyfriend and girlfriend since high school. From infidelity to lack of stability, to realizing she married someone and had kids by a man who was not the example of the father figure that she wanted for her kids. She was now looking for a way out. She compared him to other dads, who spent quality time with their kids. She imagined by now that her husband would at least find the pleasure in playing football out in the backyard, like she watched on T.V. shows and movies. That’s where she got the idea from because her relationship with her dad growing up was simply dysfunctional. Oh and let’s not forget the house. The house that she was finally able to get by renting from a family member. All she wanted was for him to cut the grass on a regular basis, fix things when they were broken, take pride in his home. But nope, he’d rather sit in his basement and watch cartoons. Cartoons out of all things! He’s so immature, that was always her issue with him. There wasn’t an argument that didn’t go by without yelling the words “Grow up”. And to make matters worse, she found numerous conversations between him and other girls when she’d snoop through his phone. How dare he?? All that I she does for him, taking care of business, paying the bills! She had enough. So many issues too tall to find a way out. Divorce is the only option!

So I turned up my radio so I could tune out her out. Singing, Someone who truly understands, how to treat her man, this is what I need! This was the song that every good women should live by, I need a girl part 2 by P. Diddy featuring Mario Winans was blasting through my stereo in the basement. If she had any sense, she would listen to this song over and over again. Man, if she complained one more time about what I wasn’t doing around the house. Telling me what to do and how to do it. Does she really think I’m not a good dad? Telling me to go outside and throw the football around with my oldest. Well, maybe I don’t want to do that. Maybe, my time with my boys is my time! I’d rather sit down and watch wrestling with them or take them to the video arcade. It’s not that I don’t spend time with them, it’s that I don’t spend the kind of time that she wants me to spend. Who is she to dictate how I spend time with my sons! This is just one of the many arguments we have on a weekly basis. If it’s not the kids, she’s rushing me to cut the grass, telling me to fix this and fix that. But I guess she don’t recall just the week before, her final words at the end of a heated argument was “you can get out”. While, I wanted to put my foot down and be the man of the house, reality set in. This house belonged to her family and while I’m the husband she was way too comfortable with reminding me of who really had the deed to the house. One of these days, I’m going to leave and do exactly what she says! She doesn’t trust me no way. The other day she accused me of cheating! Maybe we should just get a divorce?

So I turned up my radio so I could tune out her out. Singing, Someone who truly understands, how to treat her man, this is what I need! This was the song that every good women should live by, I need a girl part 2 by P. Diddy featuring Mario Winans was blasting through my stereo in the basement. If she had any sense, she would listen to this song over and over again. Man, if she complained one more time about what I wasn’t doing around the house. Telling me what to do and how to do it. Does she really think I’m not a good dad? Telling me to go outside and throw the football around with my oldest. Well, maybe I don’t want to do that. Maybe, my time with my boys is my time! I’d rather sit down and watch wrestling with them or take them to the video arcade. It’s not that I don’t spend time with them, it’s that I don’t spend the kind of time that she wants me to spend. Who is she to dictate how I spend time with my sons! This is just one of the many arguments we have on a weekly basis. If it’s not the kids, she’s rushing me to cut the grass, telling me to fix this and fix that. But I guess she don’t recall just the week before, her final words at the end of a heated argument was “you can get out”. While, I wanted to put my foot down and be the man of the house, reality set in. This house belonged to her family and while I’m the husband she was way too comfortable with reminding me of who really had the deed to the house. One of these days, I’m going to leave and do exactly what she says! She doesn’t trust me no way. The other day she accused me of cheating! Maybe we should just get a divorce?

Our reality back then, seems to be the reality of so many married couples and relationships present day. You find yourself in a world wind of constant problems/issues to the point where you grow tired and you want to give up.

Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?

While, I have to say that we were blinded by all the things going wrong in our marriage, our light was dim. Though we threatened to leave the marriage; they were idle threats that only hurt the marriage because at some point, you start to believe that at any moment, someone will eventually walk away.

How many times could I tell my husband to get out without him starting to feel like our home was not really “our” home? Why should he break his back to do anything concerning the upkeep of the house including cutting the grass, if he received constant threats to get out? I completely overlooked that. Instead my mindset was, but you’re the man of the house, this is your job. What I didn’t know was it was also my job to make him feel at home. That the last thing I should do is threaten him in that way. I never asked him “why” he wouldn’t cut the grass. Instead I

focused on what wasn’t getting done and grew resentful towards him. Meanwhile, my picture perfect dad based on my fantasy was not what he turned out to be. He had has own way of spending time with his sons, which was never good enough for me. The cheating, well, that’s left to perception. While I caught him talking to other girls, the context of his messages called out for attention, called out for someone to simply accept him for who he is. I’m not condoning the act but I had a role to play in that as well.

How many times could I refuse to do the things that my wife was asking me to do? Cutting the grass is something that any man should do if that’s where he’s laying his head at night. Yes, there were idle threats but what was I trying to prove? What was the resolve in being stubborn and letting things around the house go unattended, letting the groups grow 2 feet tall? And yes, she would get on my last nerves telling me how to spend quality time with my boys when she didn’t even have her dad in her life. But then a light bulb goes off. Maybe that’s why she pushes so hard for me to step outside my comfort zone and do other things with them? Now I feel bad because she did find out that I was talking to another girl. I was just wanted the attention, the attention that I wasn’t getting at home. I wanted to be around someone who didn’t see me as immature. I was just filling a void.

This is a viscous cycle that all relationships and marriages must deal with in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So many couples are dealing with even deeper issues such as substance abuse, health issues, infidelity etc. More than half of these issues were not even issues we had with each other, they were issues we had within ourselves.

So here’s how you start to work toward that light at the end of the tunnel: Men must ask themselves questions about their behaviors in the relationship and be accountable for their actions. Women must stop being comfortable with pointing the finger and accept that just because your handling your business, doesn’t mean you’re handling your man the way that he should be handled. Once you stop focusing on what you want and listening and paying attention to what your mate wants it will help to bring resolve. Begin to ask questions, seek spiritual guidance and make the decision that divorce is not an option.

Next month’s topic will be, Tips, Tricks, Fun things to do for your spouse for Valentines Day”

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